Community rail is a growing grassroots movement made up of community rail partnerships and groups across Britain.
They engage communities and help people get the most from their railways, promoting social inclusion and sustainable travel, working alongside train operators to bring about improvements, and bringing stations back to life.
Anyone can get involved in community rail. Train travellers, community groups, local businesses, youth clubs and horticultural groups are a few examples.
Volunteers simply give as much time as they can manage and join in activities including gardening, cleaning, painting, providing community information and safety education.
The Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP) is dedicated to supporting community-based groups and partnerships that connect their community with their railway and deliver social benefit.
ACoRP is the membership body for over 60 Community Rail Partnerships (CRPs) and represents over 1,000 station adoption groups. They support their members to be effective in benefiting their communities and railways, socially, environmentally and economically.
The scenic railway from Bristol to Weymouth is supported at multiple levels by its local communities. Seven local authorities along the route come together to fund the joint venture with GWR to enhance and promote this 87-mile line and its destinations.
The Severnside CRP is a Community Interest Company and covers all the lines radiating from Bristol. The main aspect of their work is ensuring that the 25, mainly unstaffed, local stations provide a safe and welcoming environment.
The North Downs CRP is bringing the local community together with local authorities, GWR, education, business and environment representatives who are all working to improve the value of the line to the local community and visitors alike.
The TransWilts CRP service from Swindon to Westbury has gone from strength to strength with the service being officially designated as a community rail service in September 2016, and the trial service becoming permanent in December 2016.